Volume 88, Number 3, November 2009
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Published online||13 November 2009|
Dipole rectification in an oscillating electric field
School of Mathematics, Loughborough University - Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK, EU
2 Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Camerino - I-62032 Camerino, Italy, EU
3 Department of Physics, Loughborough University - Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK, EU
Accepted: 16 October 2009
Directed transport of a neutral dimer driven by an ac electric field on a one-dimensional asymmetric substrate is demonstrated. We specialize on the case of a short elastic dimer formed by two bound equal masses carrying opposite charges, i.e., a dipole. The combination of ac drive and binding potential induces a net dipole current (strictly zero for a rigid dimer), which can be optimized by tuning the temperature and the driving frequency with distinct activation energies. Under appropriate operating conditions, a dimer can get rectified more efficiently than its constituents set free, thus implying that particle pairing can actually enhance the ratchet effect.
PACS: 05.60.-k – Transport processes / 66.10.C- – Diffusion and thermal diffusion
© EPLA, 2009
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